All Things in Moderation

The importance of balance within our own world and within our own minds.

Something occurred to me today that I haven’t truly thought about personally in a long time: the influence that the media you consume can have on your state of mind and attitude. This remembrance was like an epiphany for me when it occurred this morning as I had found myself in a pessimistic and dower mood on and off throughout this week without a real answer as to why. Usually I have a good grasp and control on my mindset and thoughts so that I can direct them wherever I wished to go- but recently I kept finding my mind drifting to truly depressing ideas and situations. It was while I was pondering on this conundrum this morning that the solution came to me: the problem lay in what I had been reading and watching lately.

My favorite topic to learn and enjoy in media is the affect that world situations and ideas have on the loves of individuals. I tend to gravitate towards serious topics of interest in the books and shows that I enjoy, though I also require that the shows have happy undertones and especially have happy endings. But just because the issues are resolved or the characters heal or things end up good in the end, does not negate the affect these serious topics can have on your psyche. Without any true intention on my part, a lot of the media that I have consumed recently dealt with heartbreaking topics like corruption, murder, human trafficking, depression, and rape.

I’m an avid believer in the idea that such diseases within humanity need to be uncovered and spoken about- that they should not be hidden and ignored as that would only allow the wounds to fester and grow worse over time rather than attended to and healed. Due to this belief, I often find myself enjoying stories and shows that take the time to focus on such topics- showing the darkness that resides in humanity, showing the victims that suffer from such situations, and yet showing the hope that can come in the end when they are rescued and the perpetrators are arrested and sentenced for their actions.

I have always seen reading and watching shows as a way for me to step outside of my own worldview and lifestyle so that I can experience the perspectives of others whose existence’s are different from my own and such steps have brought me much joy and understanding, but this connection also brings with it a negative aspect in that I am often affected by their pain and misery as well. It is that aspect that led to my realization. Despite the happy endings that came and the rescue operations that occurred in the stories and shows that I have read and watched recently, I couldn’t stop my mind from reflecting back on the dark days that each character went through as I mourned for their lost childhood and innocence.

This remembrance kept occurring so often that it began to truly change my mindset and attitude over the past week. I couldn’t get over the pain and torment that they suffered and found myself weighed down by it all. My realization this morning, though, was the key. I realized that I had been spending too much time reading about or watching shows with such topics to the point that I had definitely reached my limit and had not even noticed it. Immediately, I set out towards a solution. Music has always affected my deeply, almost as much as reading has honestly, and so I found myself scrolling to the movie soundtrack of a children’s movie that I adore. One thing that is irresistible with a lot of children’s movies and shows is how happy and lighthearted their songs and musical scores are, even if something bad occurs.

Almost instantly, I found that I began to smile sincerely and that my mood began to lift- this was bolstered as I spent my break reading a lighthearted, sweet, and enjoyable story about romance and deep connections. It was honestly like a switch had been flipped in my mind and my mood and mindset after my break was like night and day compared to my previous mood earlier that day. I then made to decision that for the next while, I would stray away from such topics in the media that I consume so that I could regain some focus and peace within my mind. For, while those topics are truly important and necessary, we must not forget that there is much good in the world as well. There has to be a balance of both in our lives if we are to find peace and it is that balance which is my goal now as this week closes and a new one is about to begin.